Pulse, Brazil’s first dedicated agtech accelerator program, is accepting applications for its first cohort of 10 startups. The accelerator program will offer no funding, nor require equity, but will provide six months of programming on two tracks for pre-product and post-revenue startups. Those that move through the product development, business model and revenue stages of the first track will be eligible to move up to the the post-revenue track.
Mentoring will come from program sponsor Raízen, Brazil’s largest producer of sugarcane ethanol and third-largest energy company, along with SP Ventures and a third partner, NXTP Labs, an Argentinian agtech accelerator and seed investor.
“This is the first agtech accelerator in Brazil and the fruit of a huge bet on Raízen’s part on the future of agriculture innovation in Latin America,” said Francisco Jardim of SP Ventures, which will be the program’s resident VC. The initial focus will be on IoT, mobile, drone, satellite, big data, AI, and robotics technologies for agriculture.
Said Jardim, “Pulse is consistent with our strategy of making agtech Brazil´s premier start-up ecosystem. Entrepreneurial activity in Brazil´s agtech space if off the charts & this happens at the exact moment when agriculture is going through one if it´s most transformative moments. I am confident we will have quite a few unicorns within the next five to ten years.”
With the intention of adding what they are calling Brazil’s “agtech valley” to the list global of agtech hubs, Pulse is looking to attract startups from all over the world. “We would love to have Pulse as a soft landing in Brazil for global agtechs. Pulse will allow the most promising global agtech startups a great showcase to Brazilian growers, channel partners and investors,” said Jardim. “These start-ups will be huddled inside one of the largest agribusiness groups in Brazil, with a unique opportunity to pilot and roll out at a benchmark global sugar & ethanol operation.”
Along with fostering innovation for local industries and creating a healthy agtech ecosystem in Brazil, Jardim says that the program is a response to tough conditions for Brazilian startups.
“Brazilian agtech startups have a seriously tough time fundraising, since there are very few agtech VCs in Brazil. These companies will be extensively mentored, window-dressed and networked with local and global agtech VCs and family offices,” he said.
Last year Microsoft and Monsanto announced an agtech acceleration fund initiative in Brazil, but few details have emerged about how it will function and there’s been no activity recorded to-date.
Pulse cohort companies will have no contractual obligations to any of the sponsors.
Applications are being accepted here.